Both horizontal and vertical ground motion can cause damage to vibration-sensitive equipment. However, most mature seismic isolation devices only isolate horizontal ground acceleration; few devices isolate both vertical and horizontal ground acceleration. In this paper, a novel inertia-type bidirectional isolation system (IBIS) is proposed that comprises independent vertical and horizontal seismic isolators. The IBIS’s vertical isolator comprises leverage apparatus with a counterweight, which provides a vertical lifting force in the static state to balance the self-weight of the isolated object, and an additional inertial force in the dynamic state, resulting in higher static but lower dynamic effective vertical stiffness. The horizontal isolator is a conventional sliding-type system comprising a sliding platform and pair of springs. The IBIS’s equations of motion are derived by using Lagrange’s equation, and the theoretical model is verified through shaking-table test results. Numerical simulation and experimental results show that the IBIS has an anti-resonance property in the vertical direction, leading to higher isolation performance under both near-fault and far-field ground acceleration. The conventional sliding-type horizontal isolator component performs well under far-field ground acceleration but may perform unsatisfactorily under near-fault ground acceleration.
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